Getting started

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Revision as of 2015-01-13T10:05:50 by Rodot (talk | contribs) (Get an .HEX: more clarification)
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Get a Gamebuino

For an overall presentation head to the home page or indiegogo page.

As the indiegogo campaign is over, you can't order a Gamebuino for now. But you can subscribe to the newsletter to know when they'll be available for order again. EDIT: Gamebuino is available through the shop.

Use your Gamebuino

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Turn it on

You just received your Gamebuino. Hurray! You should first turn it on to check that nothing has been damaged during shipping. If nothing shows up the battery may be empty or the screen may have moved... don't panic, and head to the troubleshooting page.

Load games from the micro SD card

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  • Make sure that the provided SD card is correctly inserted in its socket.
  • The game browser is named LOADER.HEX. There are several ways to load it:
    • Hold down C while you turn the power switch on then release it.
    • Press C in the Gamebuino title screen

Note: You should always get back to the title screen of the game and press 'C' to flash the loader before you turn your Gamebuino off, load another program through USB, or eject the micro SD card. It will avoid to mess up your saved games, as the EEPROM is backed up in a .SAV file when you switch from a game to the loader, and restored when you select a game from the loader.

Change the default settings

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  • Select "See all settings" to know what can be adjusted. These settings are stored directly in the Gamebuino and will be shared between different games.
  • You should adjust these two settings at least:
    • Display contrast
    • Default username
  • You can leave the other settings at their default value, it should be okay.
  • Don't forget to select "save" before you exit.

Charge the battery

You may want to charge your Gamebuino's battery when you receive it. To load the battery, you just have to connect your Gamebuino to an USB port (from your computer or an outlet charger) using the provided micro USB cable. The "charging" LED will turn on (the one beneath the lightning bolt battery symbol) until it's fully charged. Then, the "charged" LED will turn on (the one beneath to the full battery symbol). Note that your Gamebuino will charge faster if turned off and that a charged battery will give you at least 8 hours of continuous play.

Software setup

Install the Arduino software

  • Download the Arduino application here and follow instructions to install it.
  • If you're using Windows, you may want to use the Arduino Enhanced Release.
  • Note: If you are using a package manager to install Arduino, make sure it installs Arduino 1.0.5 (version 1.0 won't work).

Install the Gamebuino Library

  • Download and the Gamebuino library's archive and extract it (more download in the download page).
  • Copy the "libraries" and "hardware" folders to the Arduino sketchbook folder. On Windows it is usually named "Arduino" inside the My Documents directory. On OS X and Linux the sketchbook directory is usually named "sketchbook" inside your home directory. You can change its location in Arduino's preferences.
  • To check that the library is correctly installed re-start the Arduino software and click on File/Examples, you should find "Gamebuino".
  • Now you should be able to set the device to Gamebuino by selecting Tools/boards/Gamebuino in the menu bar.

Install the drivers

If you need help installing the drivers, refer to the Arduino guide (Windows, MacOSX, Linux). Note that your Gamebuino should be turned on when you connect it to the computer

Upload a game through USB

  • Start the Arduino software
  • Click on File/Examples/Gamebuino/ and open an example. If there is no Gamebuino folder, check that you correctly installed the library.
  • Click on Tools/boards/Gamebuino to set the right device.
  • Click on Tools/Serial Port and select the one corresponding to your Gamebuino. If it's grayed out check that you have correctly installed the drivers, that your Gamebuino is turned on, and that the cable is working and correctly plugged in.
  • Click on "Upload" or press Ctrl+U

You just uploaded your first Gamebuino game, congratulations !

Put games on the micro SD card

Get an .HEX

You need a compiled game in the .HEX format on the micro SD card to be able to play them on your console. .HEX can also be played on a computer using the Simbuino emulator (see Download).

You can get a compilation of the necessary .HEX files (LOADER.HEX and SETTINGS.HEX) along with up-to-date games here: Gamebuino-Games-Compilation.

Browse all the games created by the community by visiting the Games Gallery.

Make your own .HEX

  • Start the Arduino software
  • Click on File/Preferences and check "Show verbose output during compilation"
  • Compile your program (Ctrl+R)
  • A lot of text will scroll in the black area at the bottom of the window. The build directory path will be displayed there, and should looke something like:
    • Windows: "C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp\build[random number].tmp\a_Hello.cpp.hex". If you use the Arduino Enhanced Release, simply press Ctrl+Alt+R to open the current build folder.
    • GNU/Linux: "/tmp/build[random number].tmp/a_Hello.cpp.hex"
  • You can also change the build path in "arduino/lib/preferences.txt" by changing the line #build.path= to build.path=(directory you want).
  • Navigate to this folder and find the .hex file with the name of your program
  • Rename it to a 8:3 format: only capitals, 8 characters max for the name and .HEX extension. For example: CRABATOR.HEX or PONG.HEX

Put it on the micro SD card

Put your .HEX file with a 8:3 name on your micro SD card using the micro SD adapter provided. You can now select the .HEX file on your Gamebuino to load it on the go, without a computer! Do NOT turn off your Gamebuino while flashing.

See Also